Ever since I read Breakfast At The Wolseley by A. A. Gill, I’ve been desperately trying to plan a visit there on one of my trips to London. Finally, at the end of last month, I managed to get in and partake of their rightly famous morning spreads.
The history of The Wolseley actually doesn’t stretch back as far as you would imagine, as A. A. Gill explains in the beginning of the book – it was only opened as a restaurant in 2003, but before then was actually built as a car showroom by The Wolseley Car Company in 1921!
Since then, breakfast at The Wolseley has become something of an institution, and given its surroundings – next to The Ritz and Green Park, and just across the green from Buckingham Palace – it’s certainly a great spot to visit if you want to soak in some Piccadilly grandeur at a reasonable price.
The bar area is where you’ll find yourself waiting for a table to be free if you haven’t booked or have arrived early. Luckily it offers you the opportunity to take a photo of the beautiful floor, immortalised on the front cover of A. A. Gill’s book!
You can also find some the beautiful viennoiserie on display here, as well as cannelès and even a basket of hard boiled eggs. If you fancy something to quench your thirst, order the juice of the day – it was pear when we visited, and incredibly delicious.
Unlike the majority of London’s cafes and restaurants who sell breakfast pastries, The Wolseley has its own tourier, whose job it is to produce the dough. This sounds like a simple job, but as The Wolseley proves, this is an art which you simply cannot appreciate if all you’ve ever eaten are sad, soggy croissants and rolls from the local supermarket.
Take a moment to appreciate the delicate layers of this gorgeous croissant! The viennoiserie at The Wolseley should definitely be on your order when you visit, even if it is a plain croissant. The almond variety was equally spectacular. I think I’m ruined for croissants for life now.
Another great drink to order is the hot chocolate, which you can mix at the table with a thick, rich chocolate sauce, and frothy milk. Very indulgent – and incredibly delicious!
And here’s the piece de resistance – smoked haddock fishcakes topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Rich, smoky fish bound in mashed potatoes, with perfectly runny, soft eggs, and a generous portion of the sauce, all perfectly seasoned and utterly delicious. If you eat well at The Wolseley for breakfast, there’s no need to plan for lunch!
The face of a happy (and very full) diner!
You can purchase Breakfast At The Wolseley by A. A. Gill at the restaurant itself for £12.99, direct from their site shop (along with other items like teapots and afternoon tea vouchers) here. Or you can buy it from Amazon slightly cheaper here.